Haslam, other GOP govs, talk with Trump

Gov. Bill Haslam, who at times has been critical of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, joined five other Republican governors Tuesday to meet with him in New York, according to various media reports.

From the Times Free Press:

“Gov. Haslam joined several other governors in New York [Tuesday] to meet with Mr. Trump and discuss state and federal issues,” Haslam Press Secretary Jennifer Donnals said in a statement, later declining to elaborate.

Haslam, a former chairman of the Republican Governors Association, endorsed U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in Tennessee’s March 1 GOP primary. He has yet to endorse Trump, billionaire and former TV reality star. But the governor has also said in the past he did want to have a meeting with Trump to discuss state and federal relationships in areas like health care as well as other matters.

That happened in the expected nominee’s self-named Trump Tower in Manhattan.

Haslam has been critical or voiced concerns about some of Trump’s more controversial statements on several occasions. Just last week, he did so again, describing as “indefensible” comments Trump made regarding Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge presiding over a case involving Trump University.

Note: While Haslam has kept quiet about the meeting, some of the other governors have had more to say. A couple of samples below.


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says she and other Republican governors had a chance to talk about jobs, the economy and the shooting at a Florida nightclub during a visit with presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump in New York.

Fallin said in a statement Tuesday that she and six other Republican governors met with the billionaire and reality television star for about 45 minutes.

Fallin says they talked about what governors have done to improve the business climates in their states and the importance of strengthening national security in the aftermath of the Florida attack.

Fallin says she and the other governors also shared a common concern for the need for more thorough background checks on refugees before they are allowed to enter the United States.

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey met with presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump in New York on Tuesday for the first time since the real estate mogul began running for president.

During the 45-minute meeting, the governor told Trump that he wants Republicans to remain in control of Arizona politics from the presidency down to the state Legislature, Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said.

…“He let Donald Trump know that Arizona has one of the best-run state parties in the country,” Scarpinato said in a statement.

Ducey met with the presumptive nominee at Trump Tower alongside a group of Republican governors from around the country, including Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

The meeting was Ducey’s first with Trump despite Trump’s three appearances in Arizona.